100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of the month pledge made by Health Secretary

The UK will carry out 100,000 Covid-19 tests per day by the end of April, Matt Hancock has said, as he set a new target as part of the Government’s testing strategy.

Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 7:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 7:15 pm

After several days of intense scrutiny over failures in testing, the Health Secretary said he was setting out a new “five-pillar” strategy on testing.

He said the UK would hit 100,000 tests per day, which can be made up of antigen tests that tell people whether they currently have Covid-19, as well as antibody tests to see whether people have previously had the infection.

Mr Hancock, who has recovered from Covid-19 and came out of self-isolation on Thursday, said he came back “redoubled in my determination to fight this virus with everything I’ve got.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock. Photo: PA

“And we will strain every sinew to defeat it once and for all.

“And I will stop at nothing to make sure that frontline staff have the right equipment so that they are safe and can have the confidence they need to do their jobs.”

Mr Hancock said the UK lacked a large diagnostics industry so was having to build from a “lower base” than the likes of Germany, which is testing at greater levels for coronavirus.

He said a country-wide shortage of swabs had been “resolved” but that there remained a “global challenge” around sourcing the reagent chemicals needed for the tests.